Posted: March 20, 2018

Educational Handoffs between Medical School and Residency: A National Survey of Residency Program Directors


Educational handoffs between medical schools and residency may facilitate the transition into graduate medical education. Attitudes of residency program directors about handoffs are largely unknown. This study assessed the opinions of residency program directors from four specialties, regarding information sharing between medical schools and residencies, and whether they desire student performance data post-match, including milestones, competency and entrustable professional activity (EPA) achievement, and capstone or boot camp-based performance data. In 2017 a thirteen question survey was sent to program directors from internal medicine, pediatrics, emergency medicine, and obstetrics/gynecology. Responses were anonymous and data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis. Twenty percent of program directors surveyed submitted a survey (187 out of 950). Fifty-nine percent reported that unexpected remedial issues often arise within the first 6 months of internship. Twenty-four percent stated that information currently received is adequate to structure the learning environment of individual residents. Seventy-seven percent responded that they desire access to EPA-based information; seventy-four percent to milestone or competency-based data; eighty-two percent to performance data from fourth-year capstone courses or boot camps. No significant differences were found between specialties. Concerns were raised by respondents about the validity and reliability of performance metrics that would be shared with program directors. The majority of the program directors who responded to this survey indicated that they desire access to and would utilize medical student performance data post-match, though concerns were raised about the validity and reliability of proposed metrics.


Competency, Entrustable Professional Activities, Educational Milestones, Transitions in Training, Educational Handoffs


Avraham Z. Cooper, MD, The Ohio State University

Curt Walker, PhD, OhioHealth Group

Ansley Splinter, MD, MAcM, The Ohio State University

Meena Khan, MD, The Ohio State University

Troy Schaffernocker, MD, The Ohio State University

Nicole Verbeck, MPH, The Ohio State University

Nicholas Kman, MD, The Ohio State University

Jennifer W. McCallister, MD, The Ohio State University